DeAndre Richardson, a 6'-2' 180 LB WR from Bay High School in Panama City, is one of the latest additions to the talented recruiting corps Howard Schenellenberger and staff have put together.
Richardson wasn't always so sure of his football ability in the early going as a youngster, but he stuck with it, and it paid off: "At first, when I was young I didn't think I could play at that level. Now it's a blessing from God knowing I'm moving on", he said on national signing day this past Wednesday.
Like many other talented recruits in the Sunshine State, he wanted to stay close to home. "DeAndre likes FAU's brand of ball, and he wanted to stay in state", offered Bay High school Coach Mike Healey.
Healey said that FAU, who was faithful in its pursuit, has been recruiting Richardson for the last few years. The relationship he was able to forge with the FAU coaching staff helped him feel comfortable and at home with his decision.
Bay had a tough season this year, going 0-9, but that didn't stop Richardson from excelling both on the field and off the field. He has had to play several roles due to a youthful line-up on the roster, and rose to meet the challenges presented to him . "DeAndre is a hard working guy. Tremendous work ethic. He's a leader both on and off the field. His best skill attribute is that he really goes up for the ball", said Healey.
"My team was young and I knew I had to step up and be a leader," Richardson said. "Every time I came to practice or played in a game I knew I had to work hard."
He is likely to make a significant contribution to the owls receiving corps given his exceptional leaping ability, but also looks to learn as well: "They focus a lot on separation from the cornerback," Richardson said. "Me, I go on my route then go up for the ball. It will be good for me to learn separation."
Last season, he led his area with 559 yards receiving, had nine touchdowns, and received first-team All-County and All-District honors.
Richardson's fellow Team mate, defensive tackle Khyri Thornton, has committed to South Florida for the 2009 season. They are both looking forward to meeting on the field once again when Florida Atlantic takes on the Bulls in Tampa during the 2010 season.